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Beer Junk Laboratory Technique

An IPA of the Frozen North

Not really.

The Norwegian kweik yeast has been a relatively new fad in the fermenting world, but I have had even less time playing with it myself. I’ve brewed with it for about half a year, playing with parameters and protocols, and while I’m comfortable with it, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an expert – though plenty removed from being a novice at this point.

I think that brewing up extremely estery ales, with plenty of hops for aroma, isn’t a bad idea, though the more subtle juicy/orange flavors from the Sigmund yeast I like tends to get drowned out easily. I still like the idea of a saison or an IPA/APA with the yeast, and I’m working hard to develop a really solid formula that will become commercialized at some point int he future.

I’m also applying it to meads, and I’ve been getting very nice, fairly flavorful results. Again, not the cleanest fermenting strain out there, but since meads tend to be quite estery and aromatic, the kveik really shines. It doesn’t seem to appreciate the high ABVs that most meads live around, but a sessionable mead around 6%, that is underpitched, would probably make for a really nice aromatic mead. Hopped for a few days on top of that maybe?

I’m trying to mesh all of the things I learn from my own experiments at home and in the lab to really drill down to make a bright and juicy/fresh IPA that will help to encapsulate everything that the yeast can provide that IPAs can use, in terms of aroma and flavor.

I hope it goes well!